Prepping – Getting Your Loved Ones On Board

Talking To Family And Friends About Prepping

Prepping – Getting Your Loved Ones On BoardAt times it can be difficult to explain to your children of family members how important prepping and being prepared is. With the world the way it is today, and all of the different potentially catastrophic scenarios we face, we know we can’t afford to sit around with our fingers crossed, but how do we convey that to our loved ones? How do you explain the importance of a situation to someone so they understand it?

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Have you ever gotten that condescending stare from your children when you try to explain why you have so much food and water stored? I have, and sometimes

the looks you get from teenagers can drive you nuts because if feels like you are talking to a brick wall, or you get “the blank stare” which basically means they are only listening to you because they have to, and they are not listening at all.

These principals do not just apply to children and prepping, these principles can be applied in business or your personal life as well, but it is important to remember that not everyone thinks the same way we do, and we need to take that into account while speaking to them.

Basically we need to take a look at ourselves and “teach ourselves” before we can effectively teach our loved ones to become more involved in prepping and preparing for their future. We need to try and understand “why we do what we do.” Why we get so frustrated when they don’t see things the way we see them, something that concerns us like our governments over spending might not be a concern for them.

We Are The Authors Of Our Own Frustration

As the great Capt. Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) said “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

When we let external situations determine the choices we make, we get frustrated, and frustration shapes our behavior. When we get frustrated, without even knowing it we are giving our children control over us (they are really good at this by the way.)

A child’s field of experience is much different than ours, children are invincible right? Well they think they are anyway. Children don’t understand losing a job or what supporting a family is like because they have never had to, they don’t understand that we could lose everything in an instant because everything is provided for them (like some of the entitleists today.)

Here is an example: let’s say I tell my 8 year old son that he needs to put his shoes where they go and not to just leave them lying around the house. Then he proceeds to throw them across the room towards the front door, where the rest of us put our shoes. Here comes the frustration! I proceed to tell him what the rules are, how we don’t throw stuff around the house, how I pay the bills and do the cleaning and maintenance. Do you think he really cares or understands why I am frustrated? Nope! Because he is 8 he has a completely different outlook on life than I do, he doesn’t care about bills, he just knows the lights work.

But because I got frustrated I lost sight of what my main goal was “put your shoes by the door.” and started yelling about how lazy that was and ended up getting into a debate with an 8 year old. If I had chosen my attitude, and made a conscious decision to not “freak out” in the beginning, I probably could have explained my perspective or “spoke to his listening” a little better. However he is 8, so maybe not.

We control our outlook; we control how we choose, so until we make a conscious decision to not let frustration control our actions and approach the situation with a different mindset, we will probably keep doing the same thing over and over.

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is exactly that:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The moral of the story: Don’t let your children drive you insane…easier said than done right?

We probably need to take a step back and ask ourselves…

  • Am I speaking to their listening?
  • Am I letting my frustration determine my actions?
  • Have I been consistent?

As I said before you need to “speak to their listening” meaning your loved ones need to understand what it is that you are trying to explain. When you begin to understand how to effectively talk to them, the response you get could completely surprise you. By explaining the “why” and speaking their language you help them connect the dots and hopefully have that “Ah Ha” moment you have been waiting for.

Habits And Associations

Not all habits are bad, habits help us get through our everyday routines, could you imagine if we had to think about everything we did before we could do it? How long would your morning routine take if you had to consciously walk yourself through it? Like brushing your teeth, what if you had to think about every step of the process? It would take forever! When it comes to everyday routines our minds basically fill in the blanks.

Take driving to work for example, have you ever noticed that you have driven for 30 minutes and you were basically on auto pilot? Have you ever been going to the store and took a left turn because you were so used to taking that same turn every day to go to work? I know I have. It’s a little frightening to think about sometimes, especially when you look out your driver’s side window and see Grandma Betty driving with her head buried in the steering wheel and you think “great… I’m screwed.” Our brains fill in the blanks for us, we can’t afford to think about every step it takes for us to brush our teeth because we would never make it to work if we did.

Here’s an example that you might have seen before:

CI cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

Associations develop into habits and habits streamline our everyday lives.  When I think of the word survival, I associate it with supplies, off the grid, bugging out, government. But your child might associate that with something totally different like getting through another day of school, or their girlfriend breaking up with them etc. It only takes us 21 days to create a habit, but it takes months of continued repetition to break that habit.

How Does This Apply To Prepping?

Although as humans we can “read between the lines” surprisingly well, we cannot take this approach when it comes to teaching or explaining our point of view. If we try to fill in the blanks and hope for the best I can almost guarantee that you will not be pleased with the results. If we make the conscious decision to speak to their listening and explain the “why” you will have a much better shot at conveying our message clearly.

We fall into the trap of thinking our loved ones make associations like we do, think like us and have the same cares and concerns as us. As we speak to anyone, we need to put ourselves in their shoes and ask ourselves “how can I explain this in a way that they will understand?” especially our children.

We know the importance of being prepared for any life changing event and I believe it is our job to get our loved ones on board as well, but if this is done in the wrong way we could actually push them further away rather than help them to see that the problems we are talking about are very real.


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